VISAKHAPATNAM: Reiterating the government’s resolve of according a high priority to food security, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said that many initiatives had been undertaken to improve the organic farming in the State. Inaugurating the first edition of the three-day AP AgriTech-Summit (Agri Hackathon) in Visakhapatnam at the APIIC Grounds on Wednesday, in the presence of Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu and a galaxy of delegates from across India and abroad, the Chief Minister said that the government was working tirelessly to make AP the top State in organic farming in India.
“Around 160 new clusters have been identified in the State for organic farming for the coming kharif season, in addition to the 131 introduced last rabi season. We are providing the best seeds to the farmers and taking various initiatives to reduce the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticide. Already, we have reduced the use of chemical fertilisers by 11 per cent during the last rabi season. Our aim is to take up organic cultivation in a big way,” Naidu said.
The Agri Hackathon is being organised by the AP government, in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Confederation of India Industries (CII) and Dellberg international agency as consultant.Describing it the first such event in India, the CM said that the event would provide exposure to small and marginal farmers in modern technology and help them improve productivity.
“Low productivity and poor income have been the major issues and our prime goal is to transform agriculture into a profitable venture and this can be achieved by the use of technology,” he said. The CM batted for the mechanised farming, soil profile test and technological innovation.“We wish to achieve inclusive economic growth in the agricultural sector and make use of technology to benefit small and marginal farmers,” the CM said, adding that the government has signed a pact with Iowa University, USA, for bringing in new technologies.
The government is ready to join hands Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation to achieve not only food security but also nutrition and fodder security. Describing the AP as the ‘Rice Bowl’ of India, Naidu said AP is at the top position in the Aquaculture sector. Nearly 300 delegates from India and abroad and farmer groups took part in the event.